Category Archives: Rising Stars

Hip New Jersey sits with the state’s up-and-comers before they hit the mainstream. We’ll find out what motivates them on their journey to the top!

Comedian Vic DiBitetto visits the #HipNJ Studio

Comedian Vic DiBitetto visited Lisa Marie Latino in the #HipNJ studio to discuss his rise to comedic success.

The Manalapan resident recalls doing a video called “Bread & Milk,” which went viral on social media and jump-started his comedic career. “I did it on my own,” he says. “I took something that millennials use and used it to get my following.”

What’s next for this NJ native? “I’m booked into 2018,” he states. He is headlining clubs and theaters, and is currently in two independent films. In fact, he will be at NJPAC January 26-27, 2018. Tickets can be purchased here.

“I get paid to make people laugh,” he says. “I am enjoying the fruits of my labor.”

To learn more about Vic DiBitetto, click here.

Michael and the Rockness Monsters

#HipNJ rocked out on Facebook Live with Michael Napolitano of Michael and the Rockness Monsters! This award-winning group is an interactive, super galactic – funk inspired, rock-n-roll experience for families.

Currently, they are promoting their second album, “Funny Faces” and celebrating their single “Elevator Song” having huge success on SiriusXM! We also touched on their exciting pre-Mother’s Day event happening TOMORROW at Mile Square Theatre in Hoboken! You can purchase tickets here.

Michael and the Rockness Monsters

View Lisa Marie Latino‘s interview on our Facebook page ( to enter to win a signed album and visit for new music, concert dates and more!

Andreà Cassar

Andreà Cassar Showcase

Andreà Cassar, the Italian-born artist has followed his passion and continued his family’s legacy. His great-grandfather was a ceiling medallion sculptor. His grandfather, who is his biggest inspiration, was a painter and sculptor.  Another big influence is his mother,  a ceramic artist. Cassar has been painting since he was 15-years-old. When his mother became ill, Cassar used art as a way to escape from reality and as a way for him to control his emotions.

“Painting is my medication for life.” Cassar said when talking about how he deals with his emotions.

After his mother passed, he moved to America for a new beginning. Cassar began working as a graphic designer without any form of higher learning. Cassar was let go from his job in 2013. He took this opportunity to pursue his passion for art and went to Rutgers University in order to complete his art education. He graduated Rutgers in 2017 with a double major in Graphic Design and Fine Art.

Cassar is much more than a mere painter. Cassar is also well-versed in the art of sculpture, ceramics, graphic design, drawing, sketching and oil painting.

Cassar will be one of five artists featured in the Paul Robeson Galleries in Newark for the Clusters B.A. Graduate Exhibition. He will be featuring his new series entitled, “What’s Under the Make-Up?”

Cassar will also be holding his own art showcase in August and September. This showcase will be featuring pieces from Cassar’s great-grandfather, grandfather, mother and himself. His goal is to feature four generations of artwork from one family household. This showcase is important to Cassar because it will showcase not only his family’s artwork, but will also showcase the Sicilian culture.

Cassar’s artwork can be purchased online at

To learn more about Andreà Cassar, head over to his website.